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Sometimes, it seems like the sports section is more like a legal update. Recently, you may have followed the story about the Miami Dolphins.
Usually, we discuss one case per article. Today, we deviate from the norm by discussing three different matters:
When accused of discriminating against an employee in a protected class (gender, race, etc.), an employer defends by asserting a legitimate non-discriminating/non-retaliatory business reason for its decision.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of religion. The law requires a covered employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s request to participate in a religious observance or practice if an accommodation would not ca…
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.”
As we have noted in the past, Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on that individual’s race.
Accurate and current job descriptions are of great importance to employers. This is especially true under the Americans With Disabilities Act. The ADA protects qualified individuals with disabilities who are able to perform the essential duties of their jobs, with or without reasonable accom…
In our last article, we analyzed two cases which addressed the creation of a hostile work environment. One more case in this trilogy adds additional insight on this issue.
The law does not guarantee a perfect workplace. Courts do not want to be super-human resource departments, potentially reviewing every slight felt by employees.
As noted in the past, federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on religion.
One given principle of the Americans With Disabilities Act provides that employee medical information obtained from “medical examinations and inquiries” must be treated as a confidential medical record. The issue is what is an inquiry?
In order to be protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodations.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, a covered employer must give a qualified employee FMLA leave to care for the employee's family member(s) with a serious health condition.
In previous articles, we have discussed the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. A recent case held that under USERRA, an employer can terminate a returning veteran.
Pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), in order to be protected, the employee must be qualified to perform the duties of her job.
In our last article, we discussed age discrimination claims. Today, we will examine one key defense available to employers.
As the workforce ages, we can expect to see an increase in age discrimination claims in the workplace. A recent case shows how these claims can arise.
In our last article, we discussed whether transferring a qualified disabled employee to a vacant job position was a required reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, or the ADA, an employee with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of her job, with or without accommodations. Determining a job's "essential functions" can be critical.
The Family and Medical Leave Act is one of the most difficult statutes for employers to work with.
As we have noted in the past, employees can allege hostile work environment claims based on race or national origin.
Immigration reform has been a hotly contested issue. President Obama's recent executive order further focused attention on the status of individuals who are illegally in the United States.
Often two different claims may appear in the same Title VII gender discrimination case. The first claim is that because of wrongful discrimination, the employee suffered an adverse employment action.
Common sense would seem to suggest regular attendance is an essential function of every job. This is an important concept.
Surveys suggest a substantial percentage of employers routinely use criminal background checks when hiring new employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commssion has just issued new guidelines, which limit this use.
In a typical retaliation case, an employee will claim an adverse employment decision, often termination, was in retaliation for the employee having exercised a protected right.
In order to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, employers must carefully consider all requests for reasonable accommodations from employees with disabilities.
President Barack Obama's announcement that our soldiers in Iraq will return by year's end refocuses attention on the re-employment rights of employees who were called into active duty.
The evidence is in; the number of religious discrimination claims is on the increase. Surveys of employees indicate a significant percentage of employees identify religious bias in the workplace, and that at least 50 percent believe the bias negatively impacts performance and productivity.
Recent columns have noted that recent amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act, called ADA, have made it easier for employees to claim they are protected by it.
For employers, it is difficult to comply with just one of the employment statutes we often discuss. Just think how difficult it is when the employer must coordinate two or three statutes at the same time.
In previous articles, we have noted that claims of retaliation are increasing. Employers face great risk in these claims, especially when an adverse employment action falls close in time to an employee's exercise of a protected right.
In the 17th century French fable, The Monkey and the Cat, a monkey convinces a cat to pull chestnuts from a fire. The cat burns his paws.
To prevail on a sex discrimination claim, a female employee must demonstrate that similarly situated men, subject to the same company policy, were treated more favorably.
Same-sex sexual harassment claims are rare. However, this type of harassment can be unlawful. An employer will be held liable if the victim's gender is a contributing factor for the offensive conduct.
There was a time when most litigation arose at intersections, when cars, and later attorneys, collided. Now, unfortunately, the workplace is the most fertile place of litigation.
Same-sex sexual harassment claims are rare. However, this type of harassment can be unlawful.
In a sexual harassment case, the conduct complained of must be "unwelcomed." Can this element ever be proven in a case where a male employee complains he is being harassed by a female co-worker?
In order to establish her claims of a sexual based hostile work environment by non-supervisory co-workers, a female employee needs to show that she was subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment and that the harassment was based on her sex.
Race discrimination can raise its ugly head in many ways in the workplace. Most typically, the discrimination relates to decisions made – or not made – by the employer, or actions verbal or otherwise taken by co-workers.
It is imperative that employers have adequate anti-harassment policies, that the policies are publicized and that supervisors are trained in them. But even the best written policy fails when not enforced.
This is the third article relating to the Americans With Disabilities Act. This time we examine the obligation to provide reasonable accommodations. Once an employer receives a request for a reasonable accommodation, it should open up a dialogue with the employee toward the end of finding a …
In previous articles, we have noted that at the heart of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is the obligation of employers to provide reasonable accommodations to help disabled employees perform the essential functions of the job.
Last time, we revisited the Americans With Disabilities Act and what constitutes a disability. In a recent case, the ADA issue related to the circumstances when an employer can terminate an employee with a known disability.
Typically, a progressive discipline policy provides that corrective action usually starts with a verbal warning, followed by a written warning, then a final warning and ultimately termination.
Exemptions to the requirement to pay overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, known as the FLSA for short, are difficult to establish. Typically, the exemption has to be established when disgruntled former employees maintain claims that they had been entitled to receive overtime pay befo…
The law contains a series of burdens of proof that one party must meet to prevail in a case. In a civil case, typically the plaintiff must establish his or her claim by a "preponderance" of the evidence. In a criminal case, the state must prove the defendant is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is 45 years old this year. It has had a profound impact upon the workplace, prohibiting discrimination based on factors such as race, gender and natural origin.
Under federal law, an employer's obligation to accommodate employee's religious views often is modest. Typically, the employer does not have to provide the accommodation if it has more than a minor, called de minimus, negative effect on the employer. However, the analysis depends on the spec…
We have frequently written about the Americans With Disabilities Act.
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Should the new Porter County Council districts take effect in 2014 or after next year's elections?